How Much do Basenjis Sleep – Learn About BS Sleep Patterns

How much do Basenjis sleep really? Though Basenjis are known to be very energetic dogs, they also tend to spend a lot of time sleeping. Is this normal or something that you may need to be concerned about?

Basenjis tend to sleep a lot. In fact, most Basenji owners report that their Bs sleep anywhere between 15 to 20 hours per day. They sleep a lot more the older they get as well as during the summer when temperatures rise.

Puppies are generally very active and tend to stay up more albeit due to curiosity and the fear of missing out.

A lot of first-time Basenji owners may find it weird or maybe somewhat concerned when they discover that their Basenji tends to sleep a lot. As you read this article, you will discover that this behavior is quite normal and in most cases, there is absolutely nothing to worry about.

a white and red basenji sleeping on a bed
A white and red Basenji sleeping on a bed. Comfortable!

Are Basenjis lazy?

Basenjis are known to be very energetic dogs especially when they are playing. They are very fast especially when they are chasing down prey. One of the major reasons they were used and still are used as hunting dogs in Africa is because of their boundless energy.

They are sighthounds meaning that they hunt mainly through sight. This means that their attention can easily be grabbed by a squirrel, cat, or other dog running through the yard, and without a second thought, the chase is on.

In light of all this, I don’t think a Basenji can be called lazy. On the other hand, they do tend to sleep a loooot. Basenjis will sleep any chance they get. Most Basenji parents report that the only time that their Basenji is awake is during play and mealtime.

A naught Basenji looking to steal some food from the kitchen counter. Opportunistic!
A naught Basenji looking to steal some food from the kitchen counter. Opportunistic!

So, How Much Do Basenjis Sleep in a Normal Day?

When a member of a forum asked other Basenji owners how long their Bs slept, the general consensus was that Basenjis slept for about 15 to 20 hours each day. The more accurate of these estimations were made by Basenji parents who spent their days at home.

Those who went to work mainly gave educated guesses as to how much they suspected their Basenjis slept based on their sleeping behaviour when they were home as well as over the weekends.

Another point to note is that Basenji pups tended to sleep a lot less. This was mainly due to the fact that they were a lot more curious about the world around them and didn’t want to miss out on anything. They also tend to be a lot more playful and engaged which meant that their attention spans were longer.

Older Basenjis, on the other hand, tend to be a lot more aloof and independent. This is a reputation that Basenjis have and it is well earned.

patting a Basenji on the head
Patting a happy red and white Basenji

Basenji Energy Levels

sleeping basenji

Though they tend to sleep a lot, Basenjis also possess boundless amounts of energy and need and need at least 40 minutes of activity per day. If they don’t get this on a daily basis, they tend to let out this excess energy by being distractive around the house.

It’s important that they get the exercise they need in order to function normally. Once they’ve put in their shift, they are a lot more relaxed and manageable.  Take them out to the yard and let them run around if you have one.

Take them to the dog park or out for a jog or walk. This helps them get rid of that excess energy and as they say; a tired Basenji is a good Basenji ;).

Though Basenjis generally tend to sleep a lot, their sleep patterns could point to an underlying issue that you need to address. It’s important to keep watch of your Bs normal sleeping habits so that you are aware when anything changes.

Having said that, your Basenji’s sleeping habits will change as they get older as well. They generally sleep more the older they get.

an owner kisses a tiny Basenji puppy
Kissing an incredibly small Basenji puppy!

Basenji Sleeping Position – What it Can Reveal to You

Just like with humans, you can learn a lot from the sleeping habits that your B exhibits. Basenjis have a host of sleeping positions that show the level of comfort or discomfort they have with their environment.

It can also show you the level of confidence or lack of it. It can also show you whether your Basenji is in a good state of health or not.


Basenjis are generally known to be very active dogs and it may come as a surprise, especially for first time owners, that they tend to sleep a lot. I hope this article has helped reassure you that this is normal behavior for Basenjis and really nothing for you to worry about.